|Date of death||T.A. 2799|
Of Azog's origins we know little; he was the chief of the Orcs of Moria, and apparently the most important Orc of the northern lands. The average lifespan of an Orc is unknown, but it is conceivable that he was one of those sent to Moria by Sauron in about T.A. 2480. He had one son that we know of, Bolg, who succeeded him after his death.
Azog entered history in the year T.A. 2790 due to King Thrór's desire to revisit and perhaps refound the lost realm of Khazad-dûm, in whose mighty ruins Azog dwelt. Azog captured and slew Thrór, and branded his hewn head with his own name, "AZOG". He flung the head at Nár, then a money purse containing "few coins of little worth", warning that he would tolerate no future Dwarf beggars entering his domain at Moria.
When news of this reached Thrór's heir Thráin, he was greatly angered, and mustered a force of Dwarves to seek revenge on Azog. So began the War of the Dwarves and Orcs: the Dwarves hunted Azog, and many battles were fought beneath the earth. After nine years of war, the climactic Battle of Azanulbizar was fought before the gates of Moria itself.
King Thráin II and his son Thorin were in that battle (it was here that Thorin gained the surname Oakenshield). Near the end of the battle, Azog himself emerged and fought with Thráin's cousin Náin and, after breaking Náin's neck, his young son Dáin. Though only 32 years old, Dáin swept the head from Azog's shoulders, and helped to win the day. Azog's head was impaled on a spike, with the same coin-filled purse stuffed in his mouth that he had flung at Nár after he killed Thrór nine years before.
The Dwarves made no attempt to press their advantage, though, because Dáin had glimpsed Durin's Bane during his battle, and warned the Dwarves not to attempt to enter Moria. Azog's underground dominions in the north, though greatly reduced in the War, fell to his son Bolg, who held them for more than 150 years until he too met his end at the Battle of Five Armies.
Portrayal in Adaptations
2012-13: The Hobbit films:
- Azog is played by Manu Bennett. He is a white-skinned Orc, known as the Pale Orc. According to Balin he is from Mount Gundabad. In the movie the Battle of Azanulbizar appears in a flashback, Thror is still alive at this time and is beheaded by Azog. Thorin fights with Azog and mortally wounds him. During the events of the Hobbit Thorin believes Azog to have died from his wounds but actually survived.
- In the films, Azog speaks exclusively in Orkish, whereas his literary counterpart was also known for using the Common Speech. He also lacks the iron armor and iron-clad head he featured in the books, instead being bare-chested at all times.